CHICAGO (CBS) — President Barack Obama arrived in Chicago Friday evening to attend three fundraisers and was scheduled pay a rare overnight visit to his Kenwood home on the South Side.
Obama arrived at 4:39 p.m. aboard Air Force One landed at O’Hare International Airport. Marine One transported the president to McCormick Place, where a motorcade took the president to his first fundraising stop – the Chicago Cultural Center.
The president came to his hometown on a bad-news day, amid stock market drops caused by chronic unemployment. He acknowledged the backdrop during his first stop.
“We still know too many of our friends and family who are out of work. There are too many folks whose homes are still under water,” Obama said.
The Democrat disagreed with his anticipated Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, that tax cuts for the wealthy will stimulate the economy.
“Don’t buy that song and dance about ‘Yeah, we’re concerned about future generations,’ but you don’t think Warren Buffet can pay a dime more in taxes in order to support that future,” the president said.
Tickets for the event at the Chicago Cultural Center were $1,000 and $2,500 each. Two later events — dinner at supporters’ homes in the Near South Side and Gold Coast — were pricier but more exclusive. Attendees shelled out more than $35,000 per person. The complete take Friday was estimated at more than $4 million.
AS WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, besides raking in millions of dollars for his campaign Friday evening, another benefit is that he will get to spend the night at his own house in the South Kenwood neighborhood.
Obama stayed in a hotel during the NATO Summit late last month for security reasons.
His aides had told him he would tie up traffic even worse had he stayed at his own home during NATO.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
Threatened protests against President Obama’s appearance at the Cultural Center fizzled. Only a handful of protesters turned out.
Leaders of several Polish-American groups planned protests over the president’s recent “death camps” gaffe. Obama’s letter of apology to Poland’s president prompted all but a handful to stay home.
Wanda Podgorny showed up waving her homeland’s flag to remind the President that Poles were slaughtered in the Nazi-run camps.
“Polish people died. Three million of them died in the Second (World) War,” she said.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports